Artist Profile

Shirley Sakaguchi

Born and raised on the island of Maui at a time when Hawaii was still a Territory, I was one of 3 siblings and the eldest child of parents who were hard laborers in the sugarcane fields of Puʻunene, Maui.

It took more than 60 years after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy that Hawaii officially became America’s 50th state. I was a sophomore in high school and what a joyous day, August 21, 1959, was, when we got to celebrate statehood. I remember waving to President Eisenhower when he visited Hawaii for this celebration.

Two years later, after high school graduation, I was off to college. It was a 9 ½ hour flight from Honolulu to Washington State on a Pan American prop plane. After 4 years I was an elementary school teacher. Soon after, came marriage and two children, a girl and a boy.

How quickly the years pass and before you can blink twice, you’ve reached retirement age. It was during that period of time my husband, Steve, encouraged and fostered my interest in the arts. I pursued the violin for 7 years and watercolor painting in 2001 under the guidance of professional artist, Margie Whittington of Ft. Worth, Texas. With her encouragement and guidance, she helped me earn 1st, 2nd, and Honorable Mention status at the Ft. Worth Women’s Club.

After my husband passed away, with the support of my children, I moved to Long Beach, California, and then to Prescott Valley, Arizona, where I now reside. The natural wonders of Prescott enchanted me, especially the majestic granite mountains and the beautiful lakes. The people I have met and friends I have made enthralled me with their down-home friendliness and makes this place so special to me.

In 2021 I joined the Mountain Artists Guild, where I am truly blessed to be amongst talented artists and share the beauty this life has gifted us!

I leave you this quote from Ansel Adams, a nature photographer:

            “Life is your Art,

            An open, aware heart is your camera

A oneness with your world is your film

And your bright eyes, and easy smile, is your museum!”


Art Work

Current Exhibitions/CV


Pronghorns painting featured on the back cover of the book Chino Valley - Where Arizona Began

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